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III provincial youth gathering

24/09/2010: El Salvador

More than 600 young people gathered during three days in San Salvador for our III Provincial Youth Gathering. There were people from Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Spain. It was quite a Marist youth fest!, that allowed us to strengthen our ties to one another, to reflect upon what BEING MARIST means to us and what it implies for each of us today. We gathered on Friday, July 30th at the Liceo Salvadoreño School, for a welcoming that included dances, chants, prayer, words of welcome and a good amount of Marist Spirit. The young Salvadorean Marists that attended the event hosted those of us that came from afar, and treated us as if we had known each other for ages. On Saturday, we listened to Br. Emili Turús’s video message and to the Br. Hipólito’s (our Provincial) words; both of them helped us understand the meaning of the slogan for the Gathering: “MARISTA, CONÉCTATE A LA VIDA (CONNECT YOURSELF TO LIFE)”. We divided up in groups that included Brothers, Marist Sisters, leaders of the REMAR movement, Youth Ministers, college students, Juniors and Seniors in High School. We shared what we felt the slogan spoke to each of us. In the afternoon we divided up by age groups for workshops that touched upon different subjects: New hearts for a new world; Looking at the world through the eyes of a poor child; Dreaming new dreams… and we expressed our conclusions through dance, graffiti, collage, drama, and others. In the evening, which lends itself well for party and music, we shared musical presentations from the different countries and held a vibrant music festival. Early Sunday morning we gathered at the crypt of the cathedral of San Salvador, around the tomb of Monsignor Oscar Romero, to remember his testimony and to reflect upon what his life and martyrdom tells us, young people from these countries, today. We left the crypt filled with passion for life on a rally through the city. Back at the Liceo Salvadoreño School we held a young, lively, participative and committing Eucharist. At the end of the Mass more than 40 Marist Brothers and Sisters present there stood in front of the crowd and gave a special blessing to all the participants. They are a living sign of commitment to the children and youth of America Central. Soon after lunch there started the farewells, hugs and email exchanges. We all left the gathering happier of SER MARISTAS and a little more conscious of what that means to our lives and to the lives of others. __________San Salvador, El Salvador July 30th – August 1st, 2010Br. Edgardo López

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